"I do want to note that Speaker Quinn is here today in a non-candidate's role," said Barnard College president Debora Spar, on Tuesday, as she spoke to a room whose population was roughly half co-eds and half reporters who'd been alerted to the event by Quinn's mayoral campaign spokesman, Michael Morey.(1)
Asked by Farley about the most harrowing day to be on set, Nick had an answer ready. “It was the Julianne Moore scene. We had her for four days. The first two days into the shooting it was a very eerie experience. My mother’s dead, as you all may know, and there was a node in my consciousness where I knew I would see Julianne Moore play this role, but also there was another part of me who thought I’d see my mother again.”
“Years ago I started traveling as a sort of reaction to all the movies I was in.,” he said. “I would run away because I found in my early 20s, all that sorta crazy, wondrous attention was in some ways very odd. I had a strange relationship to success in that I really desired it and wanted it, and on the one hand I was apprehensive about it and pushed away from it … so I started traveling the world and through that began to grow up in a way that I didn't ever need to when I was doing movies. And it changed my life.”
“What other faith conjures up so much doubt in its adherence?” Ross read aloud. “It is fundamental to the religion itself. Do you speak Hebrew? Great if you do, but if you don’t you can still be a Jew. Were you bar mitzvahed? Nice, such a good boy, but plenty of Jews weren’t. Am I a Jew?... it’s an obvious question but one even the most sophisticated minds struggle to answer.”
Roth knew that if he “wrote the story of The Scientists as a novel, people would just say ‘oh there he goes pretentiously imitating Proust or Virginia Woolf,’ when the point is to show that, hey, my life and my family's life really did have this improbable time scheme, and to show that a lot of people's lives aren't linear narratives or made for TV plotlines.” What’s more, Roth noted, there are “valuable things that non-fiction can do, and memoir especially, [which is to] live up to its billing as a category that's explicitly ‘not.’ Unfortunately, too often, what sells non-fiction is a story that would be ‘too unbelievable’ for fiction.
Rothbart recounts these stories with a speedy, heart-on-the-sleeve soulfulness that perfectly complements the intensity and openness with which he appears to live his life. Every other page has a laugh-out-loud moment, and each essay contains at least one bizarre plot twist. It’s rare that such a fast and loose character—especially one as fond of pot and alcohol as Rothbart is also capable of the stillness and introspection required to write long, lucid, and penetrating personal essays. "As far as the essays in this book go," he said, "I’ve been publishing people’s private photographs and thoughts for ten years now, so I felt it was only fair that I open myself in the same way."(1)
“My mom is half deaf and watched Fox News which means she gets half [of] half the truth. And then she starts fighting with you, so she would call me and say, ‘Can black people get citrus-cell anemia? And I’m like 'Citrus-cell anemia is not a thing,'"
To the list of things Christine Quinn's political consultant Josh Isay does for her, add book-brokering.
It is through Isay that Quinn was introduced to her book agent, David Black, of the Downtown Brooklyn-based David Black Agency. And it is Black who sold Quinn's upcoming memoir to Henry Ferris, the Harper Collins editor of Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father.(2)
"I'm writing about the problem of women writing," she admitted. The "core problem," as Bechdel called it, being the conflict between motherhood and artistic ambition. "I don't mean to oversimplify things," she said, "because I know that many women have creative lives and raise children. But how many Leonard Woolfs are there? Not many."
In Rosecrans Baldwin's new memoir, reality gets in the way of trying to live the expat dream in the City of Light
Paris, Rosecrans Baldwin, author of the new memoir Paris I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down, said, changes at a different—slower—pace than New York. “In New York City, one of the defining characteristics is it's being torn down and rebuilt.” Paris, on the other hand, is the world’s number-one tourist destination whose culture and economy is tied to the city’s preservation. “I am being grossly stereotypical, but [the French] are dedicated to holding onto the image of themselves, this idea of French greatness. The trouble with preserving yourself is that it's a deadening thing to do. Paris is full of plenty of exciting young people and a huge immigrant population, but downtown, the Disneyland of western civilization, doesn't necessarily reflect that.”
Joy Ladin, the first trans professor at Yeshiva, discusses her transition, her travails, and her new memoir
The story of Joy Ladin's transformation is chronicled in Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, her recently published memoir, which chronicles her midlife transition, in 2007, from male to female, documents the reactions of her family, including her three children, and seeks to correct the record of how she became the first openly transperson to teach at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University, an Orthodox Jewish institution.(1)
Talking about addiction, recovery, and writing with David Carr, Mary Karr, Alan Kaufman, and Elizabeth Wurtzel
What an addict means when they talk about hitting bottom is indicative; it's the worst part standing in for a lousy whole. And so it was appropriate that the first thing professor and journalist Susan Shapiro asked the four authors at last night's Housing Works event—which centered on memoirs of addiction and recovery—to describe, was his or her own personal bottom. Shapiro, who has written several books on addiction—both tell-alls about her own vices, and how-tos for readers looking to kick—was moderating a panel of illustrious ex-users: people who had experienced many dark nights of the soul and lived to tell their tales.(4)